force, until in an emergency reinforcements could arrive; but south and east of Petersburg
kept his main army, and here he relied for defence on men rather than works, though here also the fortifications were elaborate and formidable.
When the national forces crossed the James
, in June, and Smith
advanced against Petersburg
, although Beauregard
came up in time to save the town, the defences on the south and east were captured.
Breastworks were thrown up in the night, in rear of the former position, and these were held until Lee
's army arrived; but the original works were never regained.
For about a mile and a half the new rebel line followed a ridge a quarter of a mile outside the town, and was made exceedingly strong.
At intervals of two or three hundred yards, or more, according to the nature of the ground, were batteries, thrown forward as salients, and traced originally either as bastions, demi-bastions, or lunettes.
These were united by a line of parapet running from the flank of one to that of the next; ditches were dug along the entire front, and two and sometimes three rows of chevaux de frise and other obstructions were laid.
The batteries in time became elaborate forts, the profile was strengthened, they gave each other good flanking fire, and the approach was everywhere commanded.
They were generally armed with Napoleon guns and small columbiads, many of the latter taken from arsenals of the United States
at the beginning of the war, by men who wore the uniform of the government they betrayed; others came from the Richmond
Behind this main line was still another parapet